The life of your car battery depends on how long it can hold its charge, and be recharged. Once it can’t be recharged, it’s dead. There are a number of factors that can affect your car battery, including humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors.
Let’s assume perfect conditions. No high temperatures, no excessive humidity, no nothing else. Under these conditions, you can probably expect your car battery life to be about six years. If you want to average it out, though, you can expect your auto battery life to be somewhere between two and five years. If you live in the northern United States, your car battery lifespan will be longer, because you’re in a cold climate. Warm climates tend to increase damage due to sulfation and water loss.
Of course, proper car battery care can greatly enhance your car battery lifespan, and the best way to make sure that your car battery lasts a long time is to make sure that it’s always fully charged. That means that you should try not to leave your lights on, or leave accessories plugged in that could reduce your auto battery life. Also, make sure that your mechanic checks your battery when you go in for your routine vehicle maintenance.
Your battery life, then, is going to depend on where you live and how well you take care of the battery. But properly cared for, you should get a number of years (usually five or six) out of your battery assuming that you own a gasoline powered or diesel fueled vehicle. If you own a hybrid, or an electric car, you can expect to get an amazing 8 years of auto battery life before you have to think about replacing it. When it gets to that point, contact a professional mechanic to replace the old battery and have your car start up quickly.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Should a Car Battery Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.